Arabic class in ILRC

OPI-OPIc-WPT-iWPT Testing

ABOUT THE OPI/OPIc TESTS

The OPI is administered through Language Testing International, the exclusive licensee of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The OPI is a testing method that measures how well you speak a language by comparing your performance with the criteria described in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines - Speaking (Revised 2012). The OPI is a one-on-one telephone or face-to-face conversation with a real person conducted entirely in the target language. The OPIc is administered via a computer and secure internet connection.

Which languages are offered for the OPI and OPIc?

OPI Languages OPIc Languages

Afrikaans
Akan-Twi
Albanian
Algerian
Amharic
Arabic
Armenian
Azerbaijani
Baluchi
Bamana
Bengali
Bosnian
Bulgarian
Burmese
Cambodian
Cantonese
Cebuano
Chavacano
Czech
Danish
Dari
Dutch
Egyptian
English
Ewe
Finnish
French
Ga
Georgian
German
Greek
Gujarati
Haitian Creole
Hausa
Hebrew

Hindi
Hmong
Hungarian
Igbo
Ilocano
Indonesian
Iraqi
Italian
Japanese
Javanese
Jordanian
Kashmiri
Kazakh
Kikongo
Kirundi
Korean
Krio
Kurdish
Lao
Levantine
Libyan
Lingala
Malay
Malayalam
Mandarin
Mandingo-Bambara
Marshallese
Nepali
Norwegian
Palestinian
Pashto
Persian Farsi
Polish
Portuguese
Punjabi

Romanian
Russian
Serbian/Croatian
Sindhi
Sinhalese
Slovak
Somali
Spanish
Sudanese
Swahili
Swedish
Syrian
Tagalog
Taiwanese
Tajik
Tamil
Tausug
Telugu
Thai
Tigrinya
Tunisian
Turkish
Turkmen
Uighur
Ukrainian
Urdu
Uzbek
Vietnamese
Wolof
Wu
Yemeni
Yoruba
Zulu

Arabic
Chinese-Mandarin
English
French
German
*Italian
Japanese
Korean
Pashto
Persian-Farsi
*Portuguese
Portuguese-Brazilian
Russian
Spanish

 (*Limitations apply)


What is the OPI and OPIc?

The OPI is a proficiency test administered through Language Testing International, the exclusive licensee of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). The OPI is a testing method that measures how well you speak a language by comparing your performance with the criteria described in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines - Speaking (Revised 1999). The OPI is a one-on-one telephone or face-to-face conversation with a real person conducted entirely in the target language. The OPIc is administered via a computer and secure internet connection.  Both the OPI and OPIc must be taken at the ILRC at Miami University.

The OPI is a Proficiency Test.  Read below about the different types of tests:

  • Achievement Assessments: measure content that has been practiced, rehearsed and/or memorized. Examples of achievement tests include: vocabulary matching questions, fill in the blank grammar questions, a memorized poem. Students can study for these types of tests. 
  • Performance Assessments: involve applying learned information in a semi-spontaneous situation. Examples include: giving a practiced presentation to the class, interviewing your partner using grammar and vocabulary you have learned (e.g. greet someone, ask what someone likes), etc. Students can generally prepare for these types of tests because they know the basic context. Students can also rehearse for performance tests since their teacher typically gives the topics ahead of time. 
  • Proficiency Assessments: measure students’ general ability to communicate using all that they know in the language, strategies to get their point across, culturally appropriate discourse, on a wide range of topics. This simulates speaking to a Native Speaker and being in a county where the language is spoken. Examples include talking about: the weather today, what you like to do, what you did last night for fun, a typical day at school, etc. Student cannot study for these tests because they involve spontaneous conversations about what the speakers want to talk about (e.g. current events).

When should I take the OPI or OPIc?

An optimum time to take an OPI is following an extended immersion experience in the target language.   For you, this will entail after you have studied abroad.  We recommend you complete the OPIc Demo before taking your test (see instructions below). Allow 6 weeks prior to the start of the class to process test and obtain scores. The testing company requires you wait 90 days between attempts.

How can I best prepare to take the OPI and OPIc?

You are encouraged to take responsibility for developing language proficiency by actively participating in your language classes and by engaging in personalized out-of-class opportunities such as speaking with conversation partners, interviewing native speakers, watching videos in the target language, subscribing and listening to target language podcasts, reading books for pleasure. During your study abroad experience, you need to practice the target language with the members of your host family and/or other native speakers. Ask your host family and/or program to introduce you to locals, sign up for extra-curricular activities in the community, volunteer, take classes designed for target language speakers, etc.. Practice speaking using paragraph length discourse and perform a variety of language functions to include: greetings, discussing interests and hobbies, narrating stories, comparing, giving and defending an opinion, responding to a hypothetical situation, responding to a phone message.

To prepare for the test, complete the OPIc Demo.  No username and password are needed, just click Start Demo.  Follow directions and be patient while software loads.  Complete the background information survey.  You should be asked one test question (e.g. what is the weather) and about seven interview questions based on your responses to the survey: http://opicdemo.actfltesting.org/

ACTFL Proficiency Levels. Remember to familiarize yourself with the ACTFL Proficiency Levels at http://actflproficiencyguidelines2012.org/

How is the interview structured?

The OPI is structured so that you have a chance to provide the very best sample of real communicative language you can produce. The interview will also stretch your abilities, and push you to your limits in the language. The test consists of a 20-30 minute interview that assesses your functional speaking ability in the form of a structured conversation between a trained and certified interviewer and the person being assessed. The entire process, scheduling, test taking, and obtaining the results, takes several weeks to complete thus we ask you to plan accordingly and begin scheduling the assessment early. Remember that you are required to take, and submit your score before student teaching; you are a responsible professional and are expected to plan accordingly. Through a conversational format, you will be asked to talk about yourself, your interests, your daily routine, etc. The tester may use a variety of direct information questions, or ask for a description, ask you to narrate, or ask for your opinion on a familiar subject. During most of the interview, the tester will ask you questions about a variety of topics that are of interest to you. The tester may also ask you to take part in a role-play situation intended to find out how well you may be able to handle a real-life situation. If you do not know a specific term, try to describe or paraphrase what you want to say in the target language. Avoid using English, slang or making up words. If you do use English, slang or a made-up term, do not be surprised if the interviewer asks you to describe what that word means in the target language of the test.

For the OPIc, the test-taker will be given 17-25 prompts at various levels of difficulty. The OPIc contains varying time limits to answer each prompt: the more advanced prompts will provide more time to response.

What are the best strategies for success on the OPI and OPIc?

When taking the oral proficiency interview, listen carefully to the questions asked by the interviewer before answering. When answering, give as detailed a response as possible. Saying little to avoid making mistakes will not improve your rating. Your participation in the interview is very important in order to demonstrate your language proficiency at its best. Remember to relax and, fully engage in the conversation.

What are the key differences between the OPI and the OPIc?

The main differences between the OPI and OPIc are: method of administration, cost, and available rating. The OPI is administered via a telephonic interview with a rater while a computer administers the OPIc. The OPIc is available in two forms: to Advanced level and to Superior level. At this time, Miami only has the OPIc to Advanced Low level. If you want to demonstrate a higher level of proficiency than the Advanced-Low level, you must take the OPI. Visit Language Testing’s FAQ site for the OPI and for the OPIc for more information.

What if I do not obtain the required score for the Foreign Language Education program?

Proficiency takes ample exposure to and practice and will require multiple, consistent, and long term actions.  Sample steps you can take include, but are not limited to: summer study abroad, conversation courses, extra curricular conversation activities such as the French and Spanish table, Skype sessions with Native Speakers, conversational courses, etc.

If you do not achieve the required score on the OPI, you are strongly advised to request the OPI diagnostic comments of your test from LTI. These comments will outline your strengths and weakness and can be used as a plan to improve your proficiency.  There is an addition fee for this service.

How will my scores be reported?

When you take the test at the ILRC at Miami, your scores will be automatically reported to the State of Ohio when you apply for license.

What are the key differences between the OPI and the OPIc?

The main differences between the OPI and OPIc are: method of administration, cost, and available rating. The OPI is administered via a telephonic interview with a rater while a computer administers the OPIc. The OPIc is available in two forms: to Advanced level and to Superior level. At this time, Miami only has the OPIc to Advanced Low level. If you want to demonstrate a higher level of proficiency than the Advanced-Low level, you must take the OPI.

ABOUT THE WPT/iWPT TESTS:

Note: Portions of the following information come from LTI’s Frequently Asked Questions web page.

The ACTFL Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) is a testing method that measures how well you write in a language by comparing your performance with the criteria described in the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines – Writing (Revised 2001). It’s delivered either in test booklet form or via the internet. The candidate responds to all prompts in the target language while prompts are always in English to avoid providing the candidate with relevant vocabulary to answer the prompt. 

Students currently enrolled in the Foreign Language Education program at Miami University are required to take OPI or OPIc and the WPT the semester prior to student teaching.  The State of Ohio requires you obtain a level of “Intermediate-High.” Miami University’s standards require that a minimum of 80% of test takers must achieve a minimum level of “Advanced-Low.”

Which languages are offered for the WPT?

Pen & Paper Tests (WPT) Computer-Based Tests (iWPT)
Albanian
Arabic
Chinese-Cantonese
Chinese-Mandarin
English
French
German
Greek
Haitian Creole
Hebrew
Hindi
Italian
Japanese
Korean
Persian
Polish
Portuguese
Russian
Serbian/Croatian
Spanish
Turkish
Urdu
Vietnamese

Arabic
Chinese-Cantonese
Chinese-Mandarin
Danish
English
French
German
Greek
Hindi
Italian

Japanese
Korean
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Russian
Spanish
Turkish
Vietnamese

How can I best prepare to take the WPT?

You are encouraged to take responsibility for developing language proficiency by actively participating in your language classes and by engaging in personalized out-of-class opportunities such as speaking with conversation partners, interviewing native speakers, watching videos in the target language, subscribing and listening to target language podcasts, reading books for pleasure. During your study abroad experience, you need to practice the target language with the members of your host family and/or other native speakers.  Ask your host family and/or program to introduce you to locals, sign up for extra-curricular activities in the community, volunteer, take classes designed for target language speakers, etc..   Practice speaking using paragraph length discourse and perform a variety of language functions to include: greetings, discussing interests and hobbies, narrating stories, comparing, giving and defending an opinion, responding to a hypothetical situation, responding to a phone message.

WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO KNOW?

Is there a cost to take the test?

Yes. There are costs for the following tests and services:

  • Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) Test Fee
  • Oral Proficiency Interview Computer to Superior (OPIc) Test Fee
  • Writing Proficiency Test (WPT) Test Fee
  • Internet Writing Proficiency Test (iWPT) Test Fee
  • Express Service (final rating will be posted within two weeks)
  • First request of ACE Credit Recommendation
  • Additional request for ACE Credit Recommendation

Note: All fees must be paid with your application by credit card. Miami University does not receive any fees for this testing service.

How do I register for the OPI?

Register for the OPI, OPIc, WPT, or iWPT!